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Opinion

Opinion

Biden carries economic message

October 7, 2010

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— Joe Biden has a lot to say for himself. I spent a rainy 12-hour day with the vice president on Monday and from beginning to end, I don’t think there was any period when he was not talking to people. The man is determined to carry the burden of his work. He wants to show you what he knows.

Ohio is a state that the Democrats must carry. This day was devoted to Gov. Ted Strickland, an early supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2008 but now an ally of President Obama and Biden.

This was the fifth visit for Obama or Biden to Ohio in the last four weeks, and the president has at least one more stop to come. The governorship is vital to them, much more so than the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican George Voinovich.

Rob Portman, a mainstream conservative who once was budget director for George W. Bush, is far out front in the Senate race. But Strickland is in a close contest for the governorship.

Biden struggled to find a message that would work, improvising all day. In a stage-managed conversation with five local citizens in a back room at the Golden Dawn diner, he was rocked by the open skepticism about the new health care plan, voiced by the African-American owner of a barbecue restaurant. For a full hour, Biden defended the administration plan, arguing that it would help, not hurt, local businesses.

The same balancing act went on all day. Whether talking over the din of a metal processing plant at a rally put on by the United Steelworkers union or at a Strickland fundraiser in the art-filled, elegant home of a fireworks mogul, Biden cherry-picked hopeful economic statistics, while acknowledging the “pain” being felt in the overall economy. Striking an empathetic note, he recalled the “longest journey” his father had to make when he lost his job in Scranton, Pa., and had to tell his children he was moving the family to Delaware to find work.

Unlike Obama, who led a mostly sheltered economic existence, Biden has a family history that he shares with millions who are feeling the uncertainties of the current economy. In an interview toward the end of the day, he acknowledged the difficulty of his task. “People are angry,” he said, “and I’m angry too.” But as the defender of the party in power, the vice president has to strike a hopeful note, while admitting “you have to be honest with people.” This is not the economy he and Obama expected to face in 2010, a slump Biden blames on the economic crisis earlier this year in Greece and other European countries. “That knocked out the momentum for growth we were beginning to get,” he says.

The fire that was always part of his politics is most visible now when he talks about the Republican Party. “This is not the party we knew. I don’t think Bob Dole and Howard Baker would recognize this party. Not even Trent Lott.” From his perspective, the tea party element that has gotten stronger this year threatens to make cooperation between the parties impossible on any subject, if its candidates prevail.

“On the other hand, if we turn them back, then I think the next two years can be much better than those we’ve just gone through.”

With that in mind, he was off to Minnesota the next day, with Wisconsin, Missouri and Washington state soon to follow. The road is long for the vice president, and he has a supply of words as long as the road.

— David Broder is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group. davidbroder@washpost.com

Comments

TinkyWinky 3 years, 6 months ago

Eh oh Tom,

You are not taking into account the nefarious statistic of "jobs" saved. With no empirical method to substantiate claims the Obama regime touted millions of jobs saved while simultaneously millions of jobs were lost. Of course the MSM jumped and humped all over the false data while ignoring the real data.

No longer counted on the unemployment rolls are career welfare mooches like one of our own participants who worked 10 years ago for the CJ. (You know who you are)

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 6 months ago

If Pewlosi can pump enough food stamps into the economy, we may actually see a boom by early next year. And Obama's "necessarily skyrocketing" energy costs otta really pump up the economy even further. These progressives are really onto something. Their transformation seems to be working. Don't forget about the Bush tax cuts possibly expiring--that will create sooo many jobs. Oh, and ObamaCare---that one is really impressive to small business owners and entrepenuers. Good progressive plan.

May a progressive god bless you abundantly with $1.00=$1.79 food stamps up the wazoo.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh, not to mention the stimulus did not keep UE at or under 8.0%.....but you all knew that I believe. Another reason to give it high marks. You'd almost think an election was nearing or something.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 6 months ago

Washington-A government investigator says 89,000 stimulus payments of $250 each went to people who were either dead or in prison. The Social Security Administration's inspector general said in a report Thursday that $18 million went to 72,000 people who were dead. The report estimates that a little more than half the payments were returned. The report said $4.3 million went to a little more than 17,000 prison inmates. The payments were part of the government's massive economic recovery package enacted in February 2009. Under the law, the $250 payments were sent to about 52 million Social Security recipients and federal retirees.

http://www.aolnews.com/story/72000-stimulus-payments-went-to-dead/1319899?cid=10


"The massive economic stimulus package President Obama pushed through Congress last year is coming in on time and under budget - and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse - according to a White House report to be released Friday. "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/30/AR2010093007382.html


Anyone wondering why this administration is not popular, here's one reason----among many.

May a god who can properly synchronize, manipulate and report news for the Obama administration, bless.

Note: The stimulus is not under budget---it is $30 million over budget----another eensy, weensy lie put out by the crooked media, via, our crooked government.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

The republican party put 11 million people out of work. Yes the wiped out jobs,medical insurance,retirement plans and put the economy where it is today. Why would anyone vote them back in office? That would be further economic suicide!

As for the above Reagan/Bush did the same thing. Why would anyone vote them republicans back in office ever again?

Why didn't Brownback and Moran know this? What were they doing while their party was wrecking the country?

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TinkyWinky 3 years, 6 months ago

Eh Oh Everybody,

The Five-Year Plans for the National Economy of the Soviet Union were a series of nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development in the Soviet Union. The plans were developed by a state planning committee based on the Theory of Productive Forces that was part of the general guidelines of the Communist Party for economic development. Fulfilling the plan became the watchword of Soviet bureaucracy. (wiki)

Hmmm, and where are we headed with the idiots in charge of this country?

Obama is a true red marxist.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 6 months ago

Biden's a tool. But the sad fact is that he's better than anyone you'll vote for, Tom.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 6 months ago

Is Joe still plugging the Recovery Summer?

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 6 months ago

Two words that both begin with a "B": "Biden" and "Buffoon."

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 6 months ago

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/6/democrats-sing-working-class-blues/

Didn't Broder have access to the numbers in this story when he wrote this? This is all about the above poll in the link. Plus, wasn't Biden supposed to head-up lifting up the middle class? This is the lousy, intentionally slanted crap I talk about. Broder is one of the best at it.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 6 months ago

“On the other hand, if we turn them back, then I think the next two years can be much better than those we’ve just gone through.”

What's 'much better'? 9% unemployment, hyperinflation and several more million home foreclosures?

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